Childhood Obesity – A Modern Day Problems


We’ve all seen the headlines about this dominant American problem: Obese children. In fact, according to the Center for chronic disease prevention and health promotion, “Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. Prevalence obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%. ” Unfortunately, statistics are even more dramatic for Black and Hispanic children. This means that at least 20% of the next generation of adults will be obese. There is a concern that needs to be investigated and managed immediately if we are to develop the next generation of our youth.

Obese children are at risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, they are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and are often subject to ridicule and bullying in their schools and their communities. Furthermore, they are often rejected and can become depressed, anti-social and afraid. Unfortunately, these problems do not usually stay in youth alone obese children and become obese adults and health risks continue to connect including diabetes, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, among others.

The obvious answer to these concerns is to control caloric intake and encouraging physical activity. However, indicates recent studies that this can not be the only issue to be considered. Studies have shown that fat children actually take fewer calories than healthy children start at about seven years. These results suggest that the focus on caloric intake can not provide a solution to this growing problem. In addition, it appears that the movement is real measurement healthy young. Also, researchers in Britain found that bottle infants were more likely to become obese children older infants. The question of obesity is further complicated by diseases such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, depression, and certain neurological problems that can lead to overeating. Also, drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may cause weight gain. Further, according to University of California study a common cold virus may be responsible for creating overweight children. These children with the virus were actually 50 pounds heavier than those who do not have it.

So what is the solution? Obviously we all need to share the responsibility of raising a generation that can function adequately. In addition to creating a generation of adults who are depressed, fearful and not functioning due to send a message in our advertising and the media is not the answer either. As Americans we are raised consumers with an onslaught of messages telling us to eat more with ever larger quantities. We have a contest to see who can eat the most pies, most sausages, or drink the most beer. Furthermore, parents are more and more careful about allowing their children the freedom to come and go as they please wandering the streets in childhood games of hide and seek, thus limiting the possibility of any movement. All this is further complicated by the convenience and availability of the internet and many fascinating adventures offered there. Game systems build up eco system, communities and kingdoms entice our youth to spend endless hours playing in a virtual reality. So how do to this problem

It is? One that concerns all of us and we should be actively involved in addressing it. First of all, school menus and snacks should be revisited with a creative presentation of food groups that contribute to a healthier diet, ie fruits and vegetables included. Snacks will be developed to provide nutrition options rather than the latest development in junk food. Second, any and all physical activities that were once part of the school day should start with structured games included for all. These children with weight issues should be regularly monitored by school personnel to ensure that bullying and harassment are not pushing them into further depression and withdrawal that often leads to more eating. Support groups for relatives and their children should be developed by nutritionists and health professionals available to provide adequate dietary concerns.

Furthermore, as members of the community that we should all be aware of stereo types that exist regarding obesity. Our goal must be to provide fair and equal treatment for everyone, especially our children. Ultimately we have to look for inclusive education for children who have been rejected or outcasts in their own social circles and communities. Outreach programs to encourage participation and the development of relations must be supported and nurtured. Why not develop a mentor program or a big brother / sister program oriented toward childhood obesity? In addition, a program similar to the Special Olympics may appeal to pull out children who have not felt comfortable participating in most of the movement.

This case will ultimately affect us all when we consider the increased health care costs, potential for extended use of psychological and costs associated with the type of care. Furthermore, sick days and lower productivity will affect our environment and potentially reduce the effectiveness of our labor due to increased costs involved. As these issues become more dominant in our culture have a tendency to punish those who are obese and further limit their ability to lead successful, productive lives. Because it is in our best interest to thoroughly examine these issues now and take the necessary measures to provide a healthy, productive environment for our children. We have the ability to turn this trend around if we all participate in its resolution. Will you take the steps in your own world to ensure that these children are not forgotten or ignored? Speak out to ensure that we develop adequate strategies and programs to stop this very dangerous trend in the world today

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